Tag Archives: MANHATTAN

#172: A DAY AND A HALF IN NEW YORK CITY

July 7, 2023

Lobby of 130 William Street (photo by Anthony Poon)

Having wrapped up client meetings in New York City, I had some time to myself. With nothing on the agenda, no one to meet, not much in particular to do, I put on walking shoes to wander this island of Manhattan (here and here). In a day and a half, I visited 20 new architectural works, walking 44,631 steps. Doing the math, that is nearly 20 miles.

THURSDAY

Midtown 

Royalton Hotel lobby, 44 West 44th Street (photo by Anthony Poon)

11:30 a.m.: I launched from my Times Square hotel, Philippe Starck’s acclaimed Royalton hotel. In the 1980s, Starck renovated this 1898 hotel, his first hotel re-envisioning. This stylish, irreverent renovation propelled Starck onto the global stage of design. Today, some of the ideas have become questionable, e.g., no mirror directly over the bathroom sink?

Left: Steinway Tower, 111 West 57th Street; right: Central Park Tower, 225 West 57th Street (photos by Anthony Poon)

11:52 a.m..: The Steinway Tower displayed optimism and technological/construction advancement, earning the title, the “World’s Skinniest Skyscraper,” designed by SHoP Architects.

12:12 p.m.: Within the famed “Billionaire’s Row” and its collection of “Supertalls,” the Central Park Tower cantilevered (somewhat awkwardly) building masses to grab views of Central Park. Architect AS+GG offered the tallest residential tower in the world, also the 15th tallest building in the world.

American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog, 101 Park Avenue (photo by Anthony Poon)

12:25 p.m.: How could I not stop into this random find, the Museum of the Dog? I toured an extensive collection of dog-related art, from paintings of presidents’ dogs to porcelain dog statuettes, from an exhibit on the history of the leash to the comprehensive library of books on dogs.

550 Madison Avenue (photo by Anthony Poon)

2:02 p.m.: Formerly the AT&T Building completed in 1984, Philip Johnson’s design with its infamous Chippendale crown received both Post-Modernist acclaim and the worst of ridicule. Last year, Norwegian Snohetta offered this new public garden, a wonderful oasis tucked into dense urbanity.

KAWS, 280 Park Avenue (photo by Anthony Poon)

2:29 p.m.: Artist Brian Donnelly, also known as the popular KAWS, blurs fine art and corporate art. Inside this generic corporate lobby, Donnelly installed a work of surrealism and wackiness.

MoMA, 11 West 53rd Street (photo by Anthony Poon)

4:31 p.m.: Yoshio Taniguchi’s 2004 redesign of MoMA mined the complexity of many levels, galleries, security points, and city facades to provide a coherently, exquisitely tailored museum.

Hudson Theatre, 141 West 44th Street (photos by Anthony Poon)

7:09 p.m.: “When in Rome…” as the saying goes. I visited Times Square’s Hudson Theatre to watch the Tony-nominated performance of Jessica Chastain in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House. Was the outrage back in 1879 really about a wife merely forging a husband’s signature? Seriously?

FRIDAY

Midtown 

Hearst Tower, West 57th Street (photo by Anthony Poon)

9:14 a.m.: I have always enjoyed a modern addition colliding into a traditional building. At the Hearst Tower, Norman Foster added a 40-story steel and glass structure on top of a 1928 Art Deco, limestone, six-story landmark. “Juxtaposition” is an overused word in architecture, but here it is appropriate.

Upper West Side

Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation, 415 Columbus Avenue (photo by Anthony Poon)

9:53 a.m.: Certainly to be the next New York architectural icon and tourist mecca, I arrived at the Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation just days before its grand opening. Jeanne Gang authored an oddly beautiful and Grotesque structure inspired by the geologic flow of wind and water—expressed by spray-on structural concrete, akin to that of a swimming pool.

Chelsea

Old Tree, Highline (photo by Anthony Poon)

12:02 p.m.: Plenty has been written about the successes (and some failures) of the Highline. But artist Pamela Rosenkranz’s Old Tree caught my eye, a fuchsia-red sculpture standing within the grays and grit of its city backdrop. She questioned what is artificial vs. natural.

The Vessel, 20 Hudson Yards (photo by Anthony Poon)

2:14 p.m.: Created by Heatherwick Studio, the Vessel heroically rose 16 stories with 150 interconnecting staircases and 80 landings. But after three suicides from the top in one year, the Vessel closed. Today, only the ground level was available to visitors—ending the once-promised Eiffel Tower of Manhattan.

The Shed, 545 West 30th Street (photo by Anthony Poon)

2:36 p.m.: Mere steps from the Vessel sits the kinetic Shed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro. It is rare for architecture to move, yet the retractable shell of steel and fluorine-based plastic opens and closes on eight massive wheels 6 feet in diameter, transforming an outdoor space into a theatrical performance space, event hall, or exhibition space.

Little Island, Pier 55 (photo by Anthony Poon)

3:09 p.m.: A quirky visionary project, entitled Little Island, sits on 132 concrete structures called “tulip pots.” Heatherwick Studio, the same architect for The Vessel, created a 2.5-acre artificial island of rich topography and luxurious greenery, accented by a 687-seat amphitheater.

Lower Manhattan

left: “Jenga Tower”; right: “Bean,” 56 Leonard Street (photos by Anthony Poon)

3:31 p.m.: At the street level of the aptly titled “Jenga Tower,” sculptor Anish Kapoor brought an iteration of his famous “bean” from Chicago. Whereas that city was often called “The Second City” to Manhattan, it is here that Manhattan is second place getting a self-derivative art piece.

Perelman Performing Arts Center, 251 Fulton Street (photo by Anthony Poon)

4:35 p.m.: Architect REX’s Perelman Performing Arts Center will, when completed, serve as a hopeful beacon, transforming day to night, from a mute white cube to a glowing marble lantern. The design will complement the World Trade Center, its 9/11 Memorial, and the infamous Oculus, the most excessive subway station.

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church & National Shrine, 130 Liberty Street (photo by Anthony Poon)

5:38 p.m.: Speaking of Santiago Calatrava’s Oculus, this architect/engineer brought a second landmark to the area, the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church & National Shrine. Replacing the original 19th century church destroyed on 9/11, the new Byzantine-inspired building glowed, like the Perelman Center, as a lantern of renewal—through the use of thin slabs of translucent Pentelic marble—the same kind of stone used at the Parthenon in Athens.

Courtyard of 130 William Street (photo by Anthony Poon)

6:32 p.m.: Sir David Adjaye’s work is reductive, raw, deceptively simple. This 66-floor luxury condo tower explored arches and arches . . . and even more arches. The darkly-tinted, heavily-textured, hand-cast concrete panels expressed both an enigmatic mystery and somber toughness.

Temple Court, Beekman Hotel, 5 Beekman Street (photo by Anthony Poon)

7:00 p.m.: I concluded my NYC tour with a sumptuous meal at Tom Coliccho’s Temple Court restaurant set within the historic 1883 Beekman Hotel. The 2016 renovation of the Romanesque Revival structure, one of the city’s first skyscrapers, restored the splendor of its nine-story atrium.

A view out of my hotel window, the richness of the rarely seen back-of-house, city fabric (photo by Anthony Poon)

(I thank John Fontillas, Principal of H3, for his insights into generating this list to play architectural tourist.)

#78: ANTHONY DREAMS OF SUSHI

February 9, 2018

Artwork of the most famous sushi chef in the world, Jiro Ono at Sukiyabashi Jiro, Tokyo; image adapted from the documentary film, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, 2011 (art from fortgordon.com)

(As I have been hosting book signings/receptions for my new bookSticks & Stones | Steel & Glass, this story from my youth stands out both brightly, dimly and humorously. Also, don’t miss my lecture and book signing at the nationally-attended Modernism Week, February 23, 2018)

This wasn’t funny at the time, but such a speed bump on my career path was a building block in my character—at least I hope so.

Self Portrait, New York, New York, 1980’s (photo by Anthony Poon)
Self Portrait, New York, New York, 1980’s (photo by Anthony Poon)

I was dreaming of sushi. More accurately, I was tired and disoriented, as life loves to do to those who choose to participate.

As a young Manhattan architect in the late 1980’s, thrilling yes, but it was late and I was hungry.

All I could think of was to pass some time at my favorite bookstore. (Yes, books. As I said, it was the 80’s.) Urban Center Books, a store focused exclusively on design was the magnet retailer for all architects. This shop also launched many authors, organizing media events, interviews and exhibits.

I figured I would just pop in, peruse a few books, and then leave to take home some sushi from the local market.

Helmsley Palace Hotel, New York (manipulated, original photo from wsj.com)
Helmsley Palace Hotel, New York (photo from wsj.com)

The setting. Urban Center Books resided in the old Villard Houses, an 1880 residence on Madison Avenue designed by McKim, Mead & White. In 1968, the city designated this Italian Renaissance mansion a landmark.

But in 1981, the Helmsley Palace Hotel opened a 55-floor skyscraper next to and on top of the Villard. An aggressive black glass tower squatted on the elegant mansion.

Though the four-story Villard wings remained, it was as if the Sphinx’s head had been replaced by a massive 600-foot tall computer monitor, but with the ancient legs left to be.

Photo montage by Anthony Poon, HP monitor (photo from ebay.com) and Sphinx at the Giza pyramid complex, Egypt (photo from ancientexplorers.com)
Photo montage by Anthony Poon, HP monitor (photo from ebay.com) and Sphinx at the Giza pyramid complex, Egypt (photo from ancientexplorers.com)

As I turned into the courtyard between the two landmark wings, light and sound poured out of the Urban Center doors. A book reception? There would be food. I had no invite, I was young and stupid, and only twenty-three. To say I crashed the party would be too dramatic. I merely slipped in to get myself a little dinner.

Urban Center Books, New York, New York (photo by Urban Center Books)
Urban Center Books, New York, New York (photo by Urban Center Books)
Omakase sushi platter (photo Anthony Poon)

I proceeded unnoticed around the room, glass of wine in hand, feasting on finger food. I had, oh yes, spotted some sushi at the end of a long buffet table, when I pulled right up into the face of an architecture professor who I did not like, and who did not like me: Lars Lerup.

I was certain he did not remember exactly who I was. After all, I would’ve been just another young face in his class subject to the intellectual abuse he felt he had the right to parcel out. All I could muster up to ask was, “What brings you to New York, professor?”

He stomped off with no response.

Walk This Way, Ansan, South Korea, by Jeffrey Inaba
Walk This Way, Ansan, South Korea, by Jeffrey Inaba

‘Stealing’ a few more pieces of sushi, I ran into Jeffrey Inaba, a former schoolmate. I expressed how it was such a strange coincidence that our West Coast teacher was present here on the East Coast.

The featured book, Planned Assaults, by Lars Lerup
The featured book, Planned Assaults, by Lars Lerup

Jeffrey dramatically pointed to the main table. Aghast, I now saw that the Urban Center Books was hosting a private party in honor of Professor Lars Lerup and the launch of his new book, Planned Assaults.

Not only did I crash a party, but I crashed Lerup’s party, an exclusive event for a prestigious if insufferable architect. AND, I had asked to his face why he was in town, while munching on his sushi.

As I said, I was only twenty-three. And hungry.

#58: TRIBUTE: HUGH HARDY EXCLAIMS “HAPPY DAY! ONWARD!” (1932-2017)

March 20, 2017

Renovation of Radio City Music Hall, New York, New York, by Hugh Hardy w/ HHPA (photo by Radio City Music Hall)

I arrived at Hugh Hardy’s New York office in the Flatiron District. Mr. Hardy bellowed, “Anthony! How are you, my fine fellow?”—with a resonance of incredible welcome coupled with the thespianism of a Broadway musical. I visited Hugh’s architecture company only a dozen times, and each time, he greeted me with such sonority that his studio of young architects beamed with joy.

18 West 11th Street, New York, New York, by Hugh Hardy with HHPA (photo by Steve Minor)
18 West 11th Street, New York, New York, by Hugh Hardy with HHPA (photo by Steve Minor)

The field of architecture lost this hero last week, Hugh Hardy. Many can agree that every day, clients and colleagues would bask in Hugh’s warm spotlight. As he enjoyed his long career as if a kid on stage with a receptive audience, our legendary architect would bring his personal theater to Manhattan. For the record, nearly every important performing arts venue in New York City, as well as many other buildings around the country, were graced by Hugh’s architectural talents.

In the late 90’s, I joined Hugh’s company, Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates, known also as HHPA. In collaboration with Principal Norman Pfeiffer and his team, I headed up many of the design projects at HHPA’s Los Angeles’ office. Over my five years with the firm, I was fortunate to work on impactful projects: the 150,000 square foot DeBartolo Performing Arts Center at the University of Notre Dame, and the 200,000 square foot library for the American University of Cairo, Egypt—just to name two of dozens.

Rendering-Front-Web

top: Library concept sketch for the American University of Cairo, Egypt by Anthony Poon; bottom: completed project by HHPA (photo by Pfeiffer Partners)
top: Library concept sketch for the American University of Cairo, Egypt by Anthony Poon; bottom: completed project by HHPA (photo by Pfeiffer Partners)

When Hugh visited his Los Angeles outpost for my first time, I witnessed his enthusiasm for design, an articulate language of leadership, and incredible showmanship—voice booming with drama and delight.

Model-Master-Plan-Web

top: Northwest Campus concept model for University of California, Los Angeles, by John Fontillas and Anthony Poon; bottom: six completed dormitory towers by HHPA (photo by Elon Schoenholz)
top: Northwest Campus concept model for University of California, Los Angeles, by John Fontillas and Anthony Poon; bottom: six completed dormitory towers by HHPA (photo by Elon Schoenholz)

Then, HHPA landed a big commission: three new dormitories and three renovated ones for UCLA. 2,000 new student beds in total. I represented the Los Angeles studio, and John Fontillas, friend, classmate and colleague (and future design partner to Hugh) represented the New York studio. Traveling east to New York for periodic design sessions, I watched Hugh command the company’s “war room” with grace accompanied by his sharp eye for constructive criticism.

Example: We completed the biggest commission of that period, Soka University—an entire hilltop campus in Southern California built from scratch. 103 acres, 20 college buildings, plazas, courtyards, lake, and so on. At the grand opening, Hugh was demanding, as he smiled, winked, and asked his team, “Is this the best you could do?”

Soka University of America, Aliso Viejo, California, by HHPA (photo from www.sgi-d.org)
Soka University of America, Aliso Viejo, California, by HHPA (photo from www.sgi-d.org)

Some of us laughed, uncertain as to whether it was meant to be serious or funny, inspiring or insulting. Some of us were uneasy that more than five years of our career were dismissed by this father figure of architecture. Most of us knew that Hugh had a vision for this world, and it extended beyond successfully re-envisioning his island of New York City.

Hugh Hardy was of this island. He walked the streets, and he rode the subways. Representing both the dreams of the people and the people themselves, he always reached for the brightest future, one “Happy Day” at a time. “Onward!”

Hugh Hardy in 1987 (photo by Deborah Feingold/Corbis via Getty Images)
Hugh Hardy in 1987 (photo by Deborah Feingold/Corbis via Getty Images)

#42: WHO THE HECK WAS THIS GUY?

August 5, 2016

The Metropolis of Tomorrow. This drawing is not by This Guy but is similar. This drawing is by the noteworthy architect, Hugh Ferris (1889-1962)

So I had this entry-level stint at a corporate Manhattan firm, in one of those shiny Midtown skyscrapers. Cramped in cubicles more suited for a telemarketing company than an architectural studio, we all mindlessly drafted and read code manuals and technical standards.

But in the far corner of our over-crowded floor with a spacious loft-like area was This Guy.

He stood alone. In contrast to our low acoustic tile ceiling and blue-ish fluorescent lighting—large windows with city views and an artsy open structure high ceiling surrounded This Guy. Whether from the natural light or a personal aura, This Guy actually glowed.

Midtown Manhattan (photo from tishmanspeyer.com)
Midtown Manhattan (photo from tishmanspeyer.com)

Of course. This Guy dressed from head to toe in all black, from turtleneck (gimme a break) to loafers (it was the Eighties). He had no desk, no office chair, not even a drafting table. Poised at a giant easel, This Guy just stood heroically, drawing with black, grey and white pastels on large sheets of parchment paper.

This Guy looked like this (photo by Joel Low for FHM)
This Guy looked like this (photo by Joel Low for FHM)

Arms waving emphatically, he drew silhouettes of office towers, one after another. He dreamt up fantastical ambitious highrises. This Guy worked with great intensity and from what it seemed, for an audience—as he dramatically worked a shadow with his palm, then added a crisp white profile with the pastel powder on his thumb. This Guy would then step back several paces from his easel to appreciate his creations.

He was young, maybe mid-30’s, but the entire office treated him as a shaman or demigod. Several dozen co-workers patiently watched This Guy finish his pastel designs. When he was done, we mindless workers scurried back to our desks. In contrast to the spectacular daily work of This Guy, our sad and unartistic existence comprised working through monotonous details of some boring design.

One day, I had to ask. I questioned my manager, “Who is This Guy?” Who is this deity the company reveres?

The manager responded with humility and reverence, “He is our Designer.” It was a kind of answer, seductive and mysterious. But also stupid.

Mongolian Shaman (photo from toursmongolia.com)
Mongolian Shaman (photo from toursmongolia.com)

I looked at This Guy’s pretentious work more closely and thought that most of my college classmates, and more importantly, that I could produce such stimulating ideas, and do so in pastels, or if needed, air brush, colored pencils, acrylics, or any medium required to appear amazing.

Perhaps I was naïve or competitive, but I saw nothing special in This Guy’s design work. I could not find myself willing to worship the divine visions that he bestowed upon us. As sometimes said of Warhol, his greatest act of artistic genius was convincing everyone that he was an artistic genius.

I didn’t stay long at that company. Only a few months.

Me, rooftop in the Arts District, Los Angeles (photo by Mikel Healey)
Me, rooftop in the Arts District, Los Angeles (photo by Mikel Healey)

If I were to work for a Big Deal architectural designer, then he better be a Real Deal. If not, then I should work for myself. And hopefully be a Big Deal myself, and not just That Guy.

#36: THE WORLD FAMOUS I.M. PEI AND THE BEST JOB I NEVER HAD

May 13, 2016

Louvre Pyramid, Paris, France, by I.M. Pei & Partners (photo by Benh Lieu Song)

Though the job interview at I.M. Pei’s company started normal enough, it was over before it began.

Arriving in Manhattan, I only had a couple hundred bucks, my cousin’s sofa to crash on for two weeks, and my architecture portfolio. I needed a job. Badly.

Having just graduated college, my resume pathetically displayed only three months of professional experience, which consisted mostly of practicing how to write nice letters. I don’t mean correspondences and memos. I mean literally writing letters. I practiced my A’s, B’s and C’s.

My architectural portfolio from UC Berkeley
My architectural portfolio from UC Berkeley

To get an architecture job, it comes down to your portfolio, a black binder that holds your design work. I had received good advice ahead of time. A portfolio was not, as many young architects wrongly believe, a comprehensive chronological tome of all of one’s school work—from the first year of learning how to draw an apple, to the middle years of designing a house, to the final studio of something complex such as a civic center.

Imagine the bored interviewer listening to you drone on, “And in this third semester class, we designed a blah, blah, blah . . . for my fourth semester . . . now, let’s turn to page 108 of my portfolio . . .” No, a portfolio should be a vigilantly curated story of one’s creativity.

For my New York interviews, my portfolio was sound: A few school projects, a sample of drafting from an internship, and some personal pieces of photography and figure drawing. I was, I felt, a well-rounded candidate for an entry position.

East Building, National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., by I.M. Pei & Partners (photo by National Gallery of Art)
East Building, National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., by I.M. Pei & Partners (photo by National Gallery of Art)

I mailed dozens of resumes to architecture firms in NYC, from the highest profile corporations to the small studios. (No email back then.) One day after several rejections, I returned to a voicemail on my cousin’s answering machine. (No cell phones back then.) It was from the offices of I.M. Pei.

I..M. PEI!

Mr. Pei’s HR person left me a voicemail, asking if I was available for an interview. This was it: A dream come true for any young architect, a possible job at one of the most prestigious companies on the globe!

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame & Museum, Cleveland, Ohio, by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners (photo by Timothy Hursley)
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame & Museum, Cleveland, Ohio, by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners (photo by Timothy Hursley)

Wearing my only suit and tie, I went through the usual motions with Pei’s interviewer. He asked a few questions about how I liked Berkeley, about my piano playing, etc. He then got to the meat of the interview: My portfolio. While flipping through my colorful pages, he explained the office building that I would design, if I got the job.

I’d already be assigned an office building to design!

John Hancock Tower, Boston, Massachusetts, by I.M. Pei & Partners (photo from architectmagazine.com)
John Hancock Tower, Boston, Massachusetts, by I.M. Pei & Partners (photo from architectmagazine.com)

But he was perplexed. He looked at my trivial portfolio. He studied my skimpy resume. Then looked at me. Then at the resume. Then me. Then resume.

Finally, he inquired in a puzzled state, “I don’t get it. How old are you?”

Before I answered, he repeated a little more aggressively, “How old are you?!”

Squeaking out, “I am 22 years old.”

Dumbfounded and perturbed, he demanded, “Where are the 17 years of experience?”

I was equally dumbfounded. “What 17 years are you talking about?”—trying not to be disrespectful of the eminent offices of I.M. Pei.

He asserted that this was an interview for a senior architect to design an 85-story office tower.

I explained, retreating for no real reason, “Sorry, but I have less than one year of experience.”

Choate Rosemary Hall Science Center, Wallingford, Connecticut, by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners (photo from pcf-p.com)
Choate Rosemary Hall Science Center, Wallingford, Connecticut, by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners (photo from pcf-p.com)

Long story short: A harried HR person made a mistake transcribing numbers between my resume and the office form my interviewer was looking at now. The embarrassed—though more frustrated than embarrassed—interviewer showed me, turning the office form around for me to witness. There indeed did my 22 year-old eyes see in one-inch tall letters: “17 years of experience. Good candidate!”

The interviewer expressed annoyance, angered by the sloppiness from his world-class company that prides itself on designs of perfect proportions, exquisitely executed finishes, and highly detailed precision.

My first job in New York City at M. Paul Friedberg and Partners, late 80’s
My first job in New York City at M. Paul Friedberg and Partners, late 80’s

Like a little boy whose ice cream scoop had fallen off his cone into the dirt, I picked up my portfolio and left the best job opportunity I never had.

#27: A MIGHTY CITY FREEZES OVER, PART 2 OF 4

January 23, 2016

Central Park (photo by Denis Balin)

Not long after Manhattan’s ochre and sepia autumn, gentle blowing breezes become fiercely gusting winds. Winter’s gale wants so perversely to whip the flesh off our bones. It seems as if the city might blow away. Merciless, it was my first New York December. Circa 1986, a-city-freezing-over.

Snow appears shortly, a freeze paralyzing a monumental city. Sharp icy spirits bite my body. My skin, a brittle armor, feels weak and fragile—like the first thin layer of ice over a vast lake. As wind chills my stone dry face, snow starts to gather along my eyelids. The gust of a snowstorm. This frigid onslaught.

Midtown, New York, New York (photo by Crazy Frankenstein)
Midtown, New York, New York (photo by Crazy Frankenstein)

Days pass and snow continues to fall. Falling from nowhere in particular, trying so damn hard to cover the Earth, the snow stays afloat in circles of windy nonsense.

All is white. A severe week of this albinism weakens the city, strips the land not just of pigmentation, but of courage as well. Everyone hides inside. Different than a yellow and orange fall, a new color scheme is upon me. This palette is of white nothingness, aggressive in its modesty.

Around the city, I see colorless loosely-formed shapes, rounded soft configurations, like a world made child-safe. Everything is homogenous: an opaque white Jell-O poured into a city-scale mold.

At night, snow reflects the downward light from street lamps back upward. Peculiar because light is rarely thought of as illuminating up from the ground. Imagine walking on light. Imagine no shadows. Every piece of this mighty city has been ungrounded.

Grand Central, New York, New York (photo by White Spaces)
Grand Central, New York, New York (photo by White Spaces)

Any evidence that might suggest a breathing city, vanishes under a deep blanket of white silence. The town freezes to a death-like passivity. The great city lays low in forced hibernation. The quiet death I witness is poignant. The white repose is gentle as it is also frightening. A metropolis brought to its begging knees, is immobilized into delicate foreboding beauty. When a community sleeps a sleep as deep as this, the apparent finality is conclusive enough to rival mortality itself.

As the snow finally stops falling, as ice softens, the inhabitants come slowly out of their hiding places to once again stomp as they will, eager to take back their environment. The city turns an ugly scene of brown mud and slush. The colorless beauty I saw only moments ago is now trampled on by belligerent life. This vigor of street activity pecks away at winter’s lush blanket, leaving it a dirty muddy mess. I prefer the elegance of a resting death to this combative unattractive life.

© Poon Design Inc.